Thursday, January 08, 2009

NARcasting The Future: January 2009

An era has drawn to a close in NARland…

It appears that they have once again modified their forecasting strategy now eliminating the chief economist existing home sales forecast commentary from their regular monthly reporting.

Prior to the fall of 2007, NAR released an independent monthly forecast of existing home sales where their chief economist spun many of the predictions found below.

Then, throughout 2008, NAR merged the monthly existing home sales forecast commentary into the monthly pending home sales report effectively creating one report that covered the most leading home sales data combined with their forward looking “predictions”.

Now, it seems that NAR has decided to eliminate the existing home sales forecast commentary altogether.

The existing home sales forecast itself (the number not the commentary) DOES still exist though, released as one line of their monthly forecast for the “US Economic Outlook” but the commentary we have all grown to know and love is gone.

Don’t be sad though, chief economist Laurence Yun is still providing LOTS of general commentary especially in his almost daily “Quick Take” bloggy-like thing.

From now on I will continue to update this post but take whatever laughable forward looking NAR commentary I can find from either Yun or the new NAR president Charles McMillan.

12/11/2006 Prediction: 6.40 million units.
Lereah "Most of the correction in home prices is behind us."

1/10/2007 Prediction: 6.42 million units. Lereah "The good news is that the steady improvement in sales will support price appreciation moving forward."

2/7/2007 Prediction: 6.44 million units.
Lereah "After reaching what appears to be the bottom in the fourth quarter of 2006, we expect existing-home sales to gradually rise all this year and well into 2008."

3/13/2007 Prediction: 6.42 million units.
Lereah "Although existing-home sales will be marginally reduced due to subprime lending restrictions, they should be gradually rising this year and next."

4/11/2007 Prediction: 6.34 million units.
Lereah "Tighter lending standards will dampen home sales a bit, but by less than a couple of percentage points from initial projections."

Lereah Leaves NAR for

5/9/2007 Prediction: 6.29 million units.
Yun "Housing activity this year will be somewhat lower than in earlier forecasts."

6/6/2007 Prediction: 6.18 million units.
Yun "Home sales will probably fluctuate in a narrow range in the short run, but gradually trend upward with improving activity by the end of the year."

7/11/2007 Prediction: 6.11 million units.
Yun "Home prices are expected to recover in 2008 with existing-home sales picking up late this year."

8/8/2007 Prediction: 6.04 million units.
Yun “With the population growing, the demand for homes isn’t going away – it’s just being delayed.”

9/11/2007 Prediction: 5.92 million units.
Yun “Patient buyers in most areas who do their homework will recognize that housing remains a good long-term investment.”

10/10/2007 Prediction: 5.78 million units.
Yun "The speculative excesses have been removed from the market and home sales are returning to fundamentally healthy levels, while prices remain near record highs, reflecting favorable mortgage rates and positive job gains."

11/13/2007 Prediction: 5.5 million units.
Yun "In some ways, the extended real estate boom from 2001 to 2005 created unrealistic expectations that housing is a short-term high-yield investment… 2007 will be the fifth best year for housing on record"

12/10/2007 Prediction: 5.67 million units in 2007, 5.7 million units in 2008.
Yun "The broad trend over the coming year will be a gradual rise in existing-home sales, but because sales are exceptionally low in the final months of 2007, total sales for 2008 will be only modestly higher than 2007."

ACTUAL: 5.652 million existing units sold in 2007

01/08/2008 Prediction: 5.66 million units in 2007, 5.7 million units in 2008.
Yun "A meaningful recovery in existing-home sales could occur as early as this spring, or it may be further delayed toward late 2008."

02/07/2008 Prediction: 5.38 million units full year.
Yun "Where builders have cut construction sharply, and in most areas with improving affordability conditions, we’ll generally see moderately higher home prices."

03/06/2008 Prediction: 5.38 million units full year.
Yun "Significant price declines in some local markets have sharply and quickly improved local affordability conditions, and are inducing buyers to return to the marketplace"

04/08/2008 Prediction: 5.39 million units full year.
Yun "Exceptionally weak home sales related to jumbo loans problems will depress home prices in the first half of the year, but steady liquidity improvements in the conforming jumbo-loan market will help prices recover in the second half of the year"

05/08/2008 Prediction: 5.39 million units full year.
Yun "Although more than half of local markets are expected to see price growth this year, the aggregate existing-home price will decline 2.4 percent in 2008, driven by a relatively few markets that are very oversupplied"

06/09/2008 Prediction 5.4 million units full year.
Yun "We’re seeing healthy price gains in moderately priced areas like Erie, Pa., and Corpus Christi, Texas, and double-digit gains in others"

07/08/2008 Prediction 5.31 million units full year.
Yun "Interestingly, there have been reports of multiple bidding after the large price cuts, so it is possible that most of the price declines have already occurred in those markets."

08/08/2008 Prediction 5.51 million units full year.
Gaylord "buyers [will] get into the market to take advantage of the unprecedented drop in home prices in many areas, as well as a wide selection of inventory, to make an investment in their future,"

09/09/2008 Prediction 5.01 million units full year.
Yun "Nationally, home sales are stable now but are expected to increase in coming quarters."

10/08/2008 Prediction 5.04 million units full year.
Yun "What we’re seeing is the momentum of people taking advantage of low home prices…"

11/07/2008 Prediction 5.02 million units full year.
Yun "…we’re still in a broad period of stabilization"

12/09/2008 Prediction 4.96 million units full year.
Yun "Given the critical role of housing in an economic recovery, we’re confident sufficient (government) stimulus will be offered to bring more buyers to the market,"

1/06/2009 Prediction 4.90 million units full year.
Yun " With a proper real-estate focused (government) stimulus measure, home sales could rise more than expected, by more than 10 percent..."